tv CNNI Simulcast CNN September 29, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
the world. you are watching cnn's special coverage. i'm rosemary church and we are here at cnn world headquarters. protesters in hong kong are defying chinese police. u.s. air strikes aren't doing enough to stop the terror group. plus -- >> another set back for rescuers who are trying to get to the summit of mt. ontake. >> poison gas is hindering rescue efforts after a volcanic eruption in japan. we will have the very latest. thanks for joining us. hong kong's chief executive is calling to an end of pro-democracy protests for
safety sake even though people are demanding his resignation. he made a statement saying china will not compromise to the illegal threats of some people. riot police tried to use tear gas to disperse the drocrowd ov the weekend. at least 89 have been arrested. today's demonstration so far has been peaceful, but many fear a crackdown may be coming. the protesters demand china give up its veto power of hong kong's next leader. >> we don't want something fake. now they are going to give us something, even though it is one person, one vote. but all the candidate will be pre-selected by beijing. it's more or less like north korea. but we are a younger generation
who have been taught about civil rights, political right. and we want to be heard. >> let's get the latest from hong kong where it's just past 1:00 in the afternoon. our andrew stevens has been following this and joins us live. we're not seeing many people right now because it is very hot there. but once people have finished the day's work -- but we are dealing with very polite protesters, aren't we? but they will get back on the streets after the sun goes down and it starts to cool off. >> reporter: that's exactly what will happen. people will, after work, come and join the protesters here at the main protest site. not only here, there are two other key protest sites around hong kong. and tomorrow is a public holiday and most say there will be big crowds here despite what the
head of hong kong, the chief executive has been saying, basically repeating the line he has taken, the administration here in hock kong kong has take beijing has taken, that this is an illegal gathering. and that everybody basically should go home. there's a public safety issue here. so it's best if everybody went home. that is very likely to fall, though, on deaf ears. as you point out, there aren't a lot of people behind me. the numbers are still in the thousands. but we've had tens of thousands here in the last 24 hours or so. but these numbers, like you say, are expected to swell. interestingly, other areas i mentioned. one figure making an appearance, caught the goddess of democracy, and this was made very, very famous during the tiananmen
square demonstrations. the goddess came to represent that push. we know how that ended. there have been people drawing very, very loose parallels here. but certainly, when people talk about a crackdown here, if there is one immediately, it's not in the same, nearly the same sort of level that we were seeing 25 years ago. china is a changed country since then as well. but to be honest, speak to most people here, they're not expecting a crackdown in the immediate future, and the chief executive suggests that people will get sick of this protest, that when they realize that it is causing economic harm to hong kong they will start to turn against the protesters. so that does suggest that this could go on for a little while longer before there is any move made to try to re-claim the streets. >> all right. our andrew stevens reporting there live from the streets of hong kong. many thanks to you as always.
among the big questions now is whether china will back down from its position with the whole world watching. sophie richardson is the china director at human rights watch. we asked her how this may play out. >> the chinese government will absolutely try to blame economic damage or unrest on the protesters and will try to, i think, mobilize others, possibly, the international business community, you know, to criticize what's happened. the chinese government wants very much for everyone to believe that the protests in hong kong have somehow been concocted by the international community, hostile foreign forces is the phrase that's used. but especially now, the incredible diversity of people we're sighing out on the streets, old, young, wealthy, not, makes it really hard for the chinese government to say this is anything other than
home-grown phenomenon. and indeed, people who have been part of the economic might are out at the protests too. >> and that's sophie richardson speaking with jim clancy earlier. >> the impact of social media has spiked since the protests began. but they have come out with new ways to spread their message. samuel burk explains how they do it. >> reporter: instagram joins those behind the firewall. protesters in hong kong were uploading images to instagram. as was ivan watson. the images could be viewed in main line china until sunday when chinese sense censors have
blocked them. now outside of mainland china, protesters have not reported censorship, but cellular internet connections are moving slowly. so many have turned to fire chat app which doesn't need an internet connection. it allows you to send text messages and photos but uses mesh networking, a combination of bluetooth and networking. it was downloaded more than 100,000 times in hong kong alone between sunday and monday. australian police carry out a sweeping counter terrorism operation. after this short break, we will tell you about the latest crackdown in suburban melbourne. and why the black flags of
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welcome back, everyone. australia is cracking down on suspected terrorists. police are carrying out counter terrorism raids in several suburbs of melbourne. reuters is reporting that one man has been charmed with providing $10,000 to a terrorist group so a u.s. citizen could travel to syria. the officers were reportedly
tipped off by american law enforcement. an isis advance, a city under siege and more questions over whether coalition air strikes are dealing enough of a blow to the extremists. isis is closer than ever to capturing the key city of kobani. barbara starr is following the battles and whether the air strikes have been effective. >> reporter: the latest isis video from syria claims to show a coalition air strike and isis firing at the jet from the ground. the video cannot independently be confirmed. when it comes to air strikes, the u.s. is not promising instant results. >> the campaign against isil will be a persistent and consistent campaign and it's going to take time. >> reporter: this video showing an isis compound near kobani, close to the turkish border
where the latest isis move is desperately being fought. one resident in the city tells cnn, isis fighters are advancing and may be as close as 2 miles away. if they take the city, isis would have free reign, all the way from its self-declared capital of raqqah to the turkish border. but there have been just a handful of air strikes here. box officials tell cnn so far, the military does not have orders from president obama to protect the kurds in syria. so strikes are few for now. hitting only at isis targets the u.s. wants to destroy while refugees are trying to escape by the thousands. from the defense secretary, a chilly warning about anticipating success. >> i also want to emphasize that no one is under any illusions, under any illusions that air strikes alone will destroy isil.
they are one element of our broader comprehensive campaign against isil. >> reporter: there are other limitations to what air power can accomplish. >> air strikes don't work if you don't have good intelligence. we have long passed the idea of carpet bombing in an area, of going after an area without having precision intelligence associated with the targets in that area. >> reporter: but the more than 60 air strikes in syria have had an impact in the areas where bombs have fallen according to a top u.s. military official. >> air power has been decisive in a couple key areas. preventing the massing of forces on a large scale, degrading isil's command-and-control capabilities. and then working to impact isil's financing. >> reporter: military officials say u.s. fighter jets will continue to patrol the skies over syria, continuing to look for isis targets. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. now, as you all know, jordan
is one of the arab countries going after isis. but support for the extremists is growing in at least one corner of that kingdom. we look at one city of ma'an. >> reporter: for deck caddecade city of ma'an has been known as a violent city. but perhaps the most worrying for jordanians is scenes like this in recent months, small protests in support of isis. while many downplay these demonstrations, the streets tell a different story. pro-isis graffiti is spray painted across the city. like this one that reads "isis leader baghdadi is our prince." a resident tells us the only solution to problems is the islamic state. others, too, say they want to
see isis in jordan. >> translator: we hope the mujahideen come here and enforce sharia law. >> reporter: not surprisingly most are opposing the joining of jordan with the coalition. >> translator: mosques have been destroyed, and we haven't seen the u.s., jordan's apostate military and the infidel arab armies move to support our brothers in syria. but when it came to the mujahideen, they mobilized all their armies and started striking. >> reporter: while this key ally faces the threat from its borders many fear the threat inside will increase. >> translator: the jihadi movement has been in jordan for years, not just in ma'an but other cities.
if this movement in iraq or syria declares a war in jordan, they will not hesitate to carry out operations here. >> reporter: like many of the city's residents, they say anti-government sentiment stems from poverty. he fears unless things are addressed there will be consequences. back on the street the of ma'an, isis supporters insist that only isis will bring them help. >> translator: people are repressed. a lot of pressure will lead to a motion. wait and siee. it will not pass peacefully. >> reporter: this man warns. these signs may show what the future may hold. there's in information about two major security breaches at
looks like we're about to board. mm-hmm. i'm just comparing car insurance rates at progressive.com. is that where they show the other guys' rates, too? mm-hmm. cool. yeah. hi. final boarding call for flight 294. [ bells ring on sign ] [ vehicle beeping ] who's ready for the garlic festival? this guy! bringing our competitors' rates to you -- now, that's progressive. well, another night of protests in ferguson, missouri. here's a look. so far no signs of any violence. but police are keeping a very close eye on this. this follows eight arrests on sunday night as protests heated up. also over the weekend, a police officer was shot in a
confrontation officials say was not related to the protest over the fatal police shooting of michael brown. a law enforcement official says the officer pushed the suspect's gun away as it was pointed at his chest. the gun went off hitting the officer's left arm. he was treated at a hospital and then released. the washington post is reporting that the u.s. secret service mismanaged a shooting incident at the white house three years ago. the report follows new information about a security breach earlier this month when an intruder jumped a fence and got deep inside the white house. brian todd has more on the breaches and what the secret service is saying about it. >> reporter: the white house fence jumper swept past a secret service officer and ran around the main floor of the white house. that's according to jason chaffetz who's part of an investigation into the incident
knife was inside the east room when he was finally taken down. until now, the secret service claimed the man had been captured right after entering the front door. contacted by cnn, the secret service would not comment, citing an ongoing investigation. this comes on the heels of an earlier report from the washington post about a 2011 incident. seven bullets hit the white house. the president, first lady and daughter malia were not at home at the time. but the younger daughter sasha and the grandmother were inside. >> what if the grandmother and daughter had been on the balcony? >> clear if the grandmother and granddaughter been on the balcony, it would have been a very dangerous situation and would have put them in harm's way. >> reporter: the shooter sped off, crashed his car a few blocks away and was arrested
five days later in pennsylvania. secret service supervisors told agents to stand down immediately after the incident, claiming no shots fired. and it wasn't until the cleaning staff discovered the bullets four days later that the secret service realized there had been shots fired. critics are again blasting the secret service. >> they are not safe, absolutely not. the agents i talked to say it's a miracle there has not been an assassination so far. >> reporter: the secret service is pushing back hard, telling cnn they did not bungle the response or investigation. they say they were told to stand down because of the confusion of the moment. as for not finding the bullets for four days -- >> while the bullet pierced the historical glass, it didn't go through the protective coating of the white house. so when you're examining the white house from the inside windows, there were no breaks in
th protective glass. >> reporter: the post reports that the first lady was furious over that incident. another person says the first family was concerned about the incident but not furious as the washington post reported. a current official says the first family has confidence in the secret service to do its job. brian todd, cnn, washington. we turn now to a big break in an unsolved crime in virginia. police say there is a forensic link between a virginia tech student who was killed back in 2009 and the current disappearance of another young woman. athena jones reports. >> reporter: police are calling it a quote, significant break. evidence that could link the suspect at the center of hannah graham's disappearance to another missing college student, morgan harrington who was later found murdered. >> there's a suspect and possibility of a link to
morgan's murder. and i am so pleased that that has happened, but it doesn't change a lot for us. >> reporter: state police say forensic evidence found in the course of three separate searches links jesse matthew who's facing charges in the graham case to morgan harrington found dead in 2010. cops have confirmed that human remains found on a charlottesville farm are those of the beautiful coed. she went missing after a metallica concert in 2009. the tee shirt harrington was wearing the night she disappeared was found about a mile from where hannah graham was last seen. it raises questions about whether the cases are linked. harrington's mother raised the issue on "out front." >> i don't know if it's a
coincidence or a pattern of a predator. >> reporter: but until now, police resisted making the connection. >> it's easy for me why people would ask that question and have their mind going in that direction, but i just don't have enough facts before me to make that determination. >> reporter: right now they are saying there is unspecified evidence linking the two. if that evidence holds up, there could be another victim linked to the suspect. according to a fbi statement from 2012, the suspect in the harrington case matched a dna profile from a sexual assault in fairfax, virginia. athena jones, charlottesville, virginia. such a disturbing story. we do want to move now to the weather situation. broad storms brought destructive hail and delayed hundreds of flights. let's get more details on this. pedram, how bad was it? >> about 40% of the flights die parting out of denver, over 300
flights were delayed. only second to what's happening in chicago, but it's a different situation with a fire ina area. but there's a pretty deep storm system and winter weather taking place across higher elevations. want to show you video from denver. significant hail damage taking place. 24 is a hyundai dealership. all 500 cars were damaged. keep in mind, this is hail alley, the heart of an area with the highest frequency of hail anywhere in north america. more than $4 billion in damages have taken place in the past. the storm system, again, moving off to the east. so the main threat for severe weather, large hail remains in that area. right around kansas and on into
nebraska. we had reports of hail-related damages, one report of a tornado across western portions of colorado. that was near the town of delta. no damages reported with that, but still an active day across this portion of the united states. take a look at the temperatures. not too bad in los angeles. we have a santa ana vent shaeve. your temperatures go into the upper 70s into the 80s and push into the 90s. 100 degrees comes back in the forecast. fahrenheit of course. that is friday afternoon and into saturday. you know what's happening in california with the drought and what temperatures that hot and the winds with the santa anas, the fire threat very high in this region. will protesters heed a call from hong kong's chief executive to stand down? we will have the latest from hong kong next. and we'll talk to one guest who says these street demonstrations
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due to your first accident. switch to liberty mutual insurance and you could save up to $423 dollars. call liberty mutual for a free quote today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. welcome back to cnn's special coverage. i'm rosemary church. we do want to check the headlines. hong kong's chief executive says beijing will not back down. thousands of protesters are on the streets again today with many fearing a police crackdown may be coming soon. isis is gaining more ground in the battle for kobani in
syria. sources tell cnn that its fighters are just 3 kilometers away. if the kurdish border city falls, isis will control more than 100 kilometer section of syria that stretches all the way to the turkish border. the cause of another ferry accident in south korea is under investigation. all 109 passengers and crew were rescued. the boat reportedly ran aground off an island. another ferry accident in south korea claimed about 300 lives back in april you will recall. i do want to stay with the protests in hong kong right now. we are joined by robert cao. thank you for talking with us. you don't think that the demonstrators out there on the streets in hong kong, that that's the way they should do their. what are you suggesting think
should do instead then? >> i have no idea what they should do. but they should not be holding hong kong hostage and interrupting people's lives. we formed the alliance for one reason. they put the signatures on the paper to tell them we do not want occupied. now that it has happened, what are they going to do? they can occupy the streets for a couple days, maybe have fun, enjoy the euphoria of beating off the police. but please don't interrupt common people's livelihood day in and day out. so they have to consider what they going to do. >> so let's look at why they're there. they are there because they believe that china is infringing upon their right to democratically elect the leader of hong kong. fair enough you think? or not. >> everyone in hong kong wants universal suffrage.
1.5 million people signed their names to a campaign that says we want democracy. we want universal suffrage now. the question now is simply this, how do we select the candidates for the ce election. this is something that should be discussed. there is going to be another consultation going on. you know, frankly, we should talk instead of occupying the streets and disrupting people's lives. >> so essentially, you agree with what they're standing up for, right? can we agree on that? >> i don't think i agree with the way they're doing it. >> right. you don't agree with the way they're doing it. >> that's right. >> but you do agree with what they're trying to get here. so really, when you look here, in a couple days there's going to be a public holiday there, and there's going to be hundreds of thousands of people out there. we're already looking at pictures from yesterday. it is extraordinary. i mean, the number of people, mostly young people, it has to be said. very well behaved.
well-mannered people out on the streets there. they're cleaning up after them seme se themselves. they just want to tell the world they want the right to choose their leader. which i think most of the world would agree with. but if you don't like the way they're going about it, you have to come up with a solution. what do you see as that exactly? >> no. it doesn't work like that. you have, you know, 40, 50,000 people out in the streets. hong kong people are well behaved. hong kong people are not rascals. but at the end of the day, they have to consider, if they can't get what they want, can they hold the rest of hong kong hostage for a long period of time? what will 1.5 million people say if the people say no, please don't disrupt our lives, then they would have to consider what they going to do next. by all means, fight with the government. by all means, fight with china, but don't make us hostages.
>> but they have achieved something, haven't they? the world is talking about this. >> oh, yes. >> and the world is concerned about the possibility that china may intervene and perhaps crackdown on these people. we saw over the weekend the use of tear gas and pepper spray, and the concern is that that violence could become deadly. >> but the concern from people in the united states and some other countries does not mean that they can take away either our rights, our human rights to live properly. so the question is now between these pro tetesters and the resf hong kong. now we are saying give up some of the spaces that you've occupied. then go on with your argument with government and all that. we're fine with that. but they would have to consider when they're going to give up occupying the streets. they can't do it forever. >> well, they've already said, the demonstrators have said they're going to stay there until they get some sort of
progress. and they, at this point, want to see the chief executive, the current chief executive step down. they want to see his resignation, because they pretty much see him as a puppet of china. do you agree with that? >> well, they can ask what they want, and whether the chief executive is going to resign or not, i think he has said that's up to -- i don't know what he has said, but it's really up to him. it's not for us to say. but the question is, if the chief executive and beijing wish to discuss with them, we're all for that. but it is not holding us hostage. >> robert chow. >> in any hostage situation, you know, this is the first time the hostage has a voice. they can speak out. and we're saying no, please. >> robert chow, there are many different voices in this, and of course you have had your opportunity to voice your opinion. we appreciate that here on cnn. many thanks. well, "i-report"s from hong kong's demonstrations are
rolling in. one "i-report" came from a witness saying he saw police using tear gas to control the crowds. he said the protests he witnessed was peaceful and the atmosphere was intense. some people ran to escape the gas, but others stayed despite it. protests like these have not been seen in hong kong since britain returned it to chinese rule in 1997. we see the origins of this unrhys. >> reporter: the red flag of china turned upside down, an act of defiance in hong kong. since the 1997 handover from britain to china, the territory has been ruled under the principle of one country, two systems, granting hong kong a range of liberties not seen in the mainland, from the freedom of speech to the right to protest. protesters have been exercising
those rights, challenging beijing's decision to control who can run for the city's top official post. last week thousands of students led peaceful boycotts and protests for free and open elections. one of the protest leaders, joshua wong was arrested and later released. >> translator: i remember when i was at the police station i had more than ten wounds. i just way 100 pounds. but there were ten to arrest me. the federation of students can't stop this protest. >> reporter: on sunday, the largely peaceful protests took a turn. police in riot gear moved in on the demonstrators, using tear gas to disperse crowds. to protect themselves, protesters wore masks and
umbrellas. these scenes shocked the world and residents of hong kong, a usually stable and peaceful center. beijing says it is confident the hong kong government can handle the movement lawfully. it says it also opposes all illegal activities that quote, could undermine rule of law and jeopardize social tranquillity. cnn, hong kong. well, doctors in texas are evaluating a patient who might be infected with ebola. now the patient's symptoms and recent travel history prompted doctors in dallas to put the patient in isolation. more results are expected late today. the world health organization says more than 3,000 people have died in the ebola outbreak. more than 6500 are infectedguin
sierra leone. >> the world needs a responsive infrastructure to deal with this new trend that is today manifesting itself from guinea, liberia and sierra leone. ebola is traveling faster than us. treatment beds must surpass ebola cases. only when the number of available beds surpasses the number of cases can we say ebola has been brought under control. >> doctors on the ground are making some progress fighting this disease, but some say they could do much more if it weren't for widespread misinformation and mistrust in the places most infected. >> reporter: a team from doctors without borders gets ready to
fight ebola at this hospital in guinea, stocking up on medicines and equipment. >> these are tourniquets. this is serum for injections. this is pair set moll. >> reporter: suiting up and taking special measures against a virus which spreads through bodily fluids and kills those it infects, often within days. >> translator: there's a big distance between us and the patients. even if we have a puncture on the way we completely avoid the patient so we're not in contact with them. >> reporter: the ambulance heads into ground zero of the epidemic where the deadliest outbreak on record began nine months ago, infecting more than 6500 people and spreading to sierra leone and liberia. guinea's president talked about the challenges.
>> translator: one can hear from ebola when it is prepared for it. but this is the reason emergency measures are needed. there's a need to be on the ground. indeed, if we are on the ground the might response can be provided and the disease halted. >> reporter: meanwhile, back in guinea, there are patients to be taken care of, children protected. >> translator: we give dolls to girls. and there are also castanets for the children who cry. >> reporter: those who survive offer hope and have helped get new recruits to the facility. >> translator: the day i arrived, i was in a very bad state. but since i've been here everything has gone really well. the doctors gave me medicine, and thank god, my health is better. >> reporter: but those success stories are overshadowed by the deaths along with widespread fear, misinformation and conspiracy theories. two weeks ago, health care workers were killed, fearing
that they were there to infect, not help them. a climate of despair and mistrust, making a traumatic situation even worse. cnn. >> we'll of course continue to watch that story very closely. but coming up, south korea is looking for ways to clear the air. the battle with pollution. that's ahead. plus the world's wildlife endangered as never before. a stunning new report coming up. is now! p the year's largest variety of shrimp flavors! like our coconut shrimp bites or our creamy shrimp alfredo... as much as you like, any way you like! hurry in and sea food differently. ♪ i remember when i wouldn't give a little cut a second thought. when i didn't worry about the hepatitis c in my blood. when i didn't think twice about where i left my razor. hep c is a serious disease. take action now. go to hepc.com or call 1-844-444-hepc
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afghanistan's new government is signing a security agreement with the u.s. and nato today. it comes a day after the country installed a new president to replar replace hamid karzai. >> reporter: a historic day as the new president is sworn in, marking the first democratic transition of power, but there was little peace in the capital of kabul. minutes before the ceremony, police say a taliban suicide bomber killed at least four people in an attack near the airport. taking on the taliban is one of the many challenges now facing
gha ghani. >> translator: we are tired of this wash. our message is a message of peace, and the message of peace doesn't mean we're weak. >> reporter: also at the swearing in, ghani's former rival, abdullah abdullah. the two men had been locked in a lengthy dispute over accusations of election fraud. last week they signed a power-sharing deal, giving abdullah the newly created position of chief executive officer, similar to prime minister. the two men put bad blood behind them. >> they still will be tackling their problems. and dealing with what is the differences, i'm sure there will be another disaster. >> reporter: one of president ghani's first actions will be to approve a new security agreement with the united states, allowing fewer than 10,000 american troops to remain in afghanistan
next year. most troops are due to withdraw in the next coming months. hamid karzai refused to sign that agreement. but the long-delayed deal is expected to be signed on tuesday. south korea's capital is struggling to find ways to control the air pollution there. while some blame china for it, there are also domestic factors contributing to it. paula hancocks reports on the search for solutions. >> reporter: a dull haze darkens the seoul skyline. smoke envelopes the top floors of the skyscrapers. some officials in the capital point a finger of blame at gas-guzzling neighbor china. measuring fine dust particles in the air on a daily basis, this facility decides when to issue a public health warning, advising certain sections of the
population to stay indoors. yellow dust is completely from the deserts of china says the head of the institute. fine dust is from both china and korea, about 50/50. seoul city says it has almost finished replacing thousands of diesel buses with natural gas, saying it will cut emissions by 30%. a carbon emissions trading scheme kicks off next year, but the government has postponed implementing low emission vehicle standards until 2020, saying it was concerned that it would put auto makers, a powerful voice in this country, under too much pressure. despite this, there's only so much that can be done domestically. which is why there was a meeting in beijing earlier this year. an agreement was signed to tackle air pollution. planting trees in seoul may only be one tiny part in the fight against pollution, but this environmental group says it's
simple. trees counter the increase in carbon emission, necessary when you have a neighbor like china. last winter, says the group hid, there were serious warnings about fine dust. and the sky was almost black. this is because of the dramatic increase in the number of cars in china and they armo electric power plants. the dust is carried to korea by the wind. they plant an average of 1,000 trees per year. but this year they're planning on 10,000 trees. the group organizer says that is because there is a growing awareness of the pollution in this country. and a growing concern the answer to the problem is only partially in korea's hands. paula hancocks, cnn, seoul. well, the world has lost more than half its wildlife in a matter of 40 years. that is according to a new study from the world wildlife fund. the group blames most of that
decline on human impact. according to its study, terrestrial and marine wildlife declined 39%. and freshwater wildlife dropped 76%, all between 1970 and 2010. the study says habitat loss and hunting and fishing are the biggest culprits, with climate change the next largest threat. after the break we go to mt. ontake in japan. >> another set back for rescuers who are trying to get to the summit of mt. ontake to recover the more than two dozen people who are laying there right now. >> we will have the latest on the grim search for victims of the volcano.
well, japan's mt. ontake volcano is again spewing plumes of toxic gas, so officials have to suspend their search for victims of saturday's eruption and perhaps survivors, however slim. cnn's will ripley has the latest from mt. ontake. >> reporter: another set back for rescuers who are trying to get to the summit of mt. ontake to recover the estimated two dozen people who are laying there right now, their bodies near the summit of this mountain which blew its top unexpectedly on saturday. at least 36 people are presumed dead right now. and officials fear there could
be even more victims, people who tried to ride out the eruption in mountain lodges and who succumbed to this plume of ash. it is the sign of a smaller eruptions happening. but there's growing concern that there could be yet another large eruption, much like the one on saturday that took everybody by surprise. japan's volcano alert level was at level one when this happened. so the mountain was full of people taking in the autumn sights. that alert level now is at three. rescuers had to cut off their mission because they detected what they say is small volcanic movement. they also to cut their mission short because of the detection of the poisonous fumes at the summit, making it difficult to get to those people. as families here at the base of mt. ontake gather and wait for the official word on their loved ones.
will ripley, central japan. now the lack of advanced warnings has been a major discussion in this disaster, our meteorologist joins us from the weather center. the heartbreak here is that there was a warning, wasn't there, it just didn't filter through to the general public. how does that happen? >> the warning was a small-scale warning, for the local communities surrounding ontake. about two days before this occurred. the level was kept at a minimal level. they said we have had active area but nothing to worry about as far as major eruptions anytime soon. that's why the message was not disseminated across a larger public. and as we come back to saturday and the major eruption occurs, first of its kind since 1979. but the predicting aspect of eruptions for volcanos is a very, very difficult task of course.
it's extremely unusual for a mountain and a volcano to erupt, really, without significant increase in volcanc earthquakes. and again, we had minimal increase, enough to notify people in the area but nothing as far as major eruptions. that kept us from getting to wider audience, but the swelling or ground deformations is something they look for. we saw this across portions of iceland with bardarbunga. some magma coming up to the surface. we had video talking about this potentially being a concern, and of course the eruption occurred. it is worth noting but it is very unusual to have a major eruption without increased activity. in the mammoth mountain region of california, we've had an increase for the caldera in that region. we've had about 1,000 quakes in recent weeks. and officials are saying no need to worry, this is tectonic
activity. but it's a very, very difficult task to try to decipher when this is going to happen, but you see the before and after images of this mountain and the near lunar like surface here with so much ash covering the top of the mountain. as we noted here, the rescue efforts, the search efforts at this point have been halted because of the minor eruptions at this point of poisonous gases and of course the weather pattern as we head into autumn not going to help for the long term search and rescue as well. >> thank you for covering that. appreciate it. i'm rosemary church. another hour of cnn's special coverage is straight ahead with errol barnett. cnn is live at the protests in hong kong. and this may surprise you. some people in jordan say they want to be ruled by isis and sharia law. and a look at what might be the most dangerous border in europe. we're back in a moment. you make a great team.
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